14 October 2015

Italian education :: 28 :: differentiated learning, perhaps

I recently shared the subjects Young One will study during her first year of middle school. While there are a couple of unexpected differences compared to American middle school education (two foreign languages, technical drawing), most of the subjects are fairly familiar, on the surface, at least.

What is glaringly different, however, is the variation of the time! Not all subjects meet for the same amount of time each week. Check this out:

Italian: 6 hours 
Italian Grammar: 2 hours
Italian Literature: 4 hours (This is further subdivided in ways I don’t yet understand entirely.)
Mathematics: 4 hours
History / Geography: 4 hours (It isn't clear how these two will be divided.)
English: 3 hours
Science: 2 hours
Art: 2 hours
Technology / Technical Drawing: 2 hours (I have a sneaking suspicion that this will not include computers.)
Physical Education: 2 hours
French: 2 hours
General Music: 2 hours 
Flute & Music Theory: 2 hours *
Orchestra & Music Theory: 1 hour *
Religion: 1 hour
* These three hours of music are extra for those students enrolled in the music section. 

And what do we think about that differentiation?

Disclaimer: I hate generalizations as much as you do, probably more. This is my limited experience at my sixth grader's middle school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!


  1. I think this is most logical. Why would each subject demand the same amount of time? I wish U.S. schools would re-shape their school system. My 13 year old gets on the bus at 8 in the morning and then get's home at 5 p.m. Totally crazy! Then he has 1-2 hours of homework and then soccer each week. The poor kid is exhausted!

    1. I'm afraid the Italian children (at least starting in middle school) share in this exhaustion. I do wish American schools would consider adopting the varying times. I just makes sense!

  2. My daughter is in the same class level as yours. This new rhythm is quite tiring for her.
    Here is the schedule of my daughter (just slightly lighter than your daughter) ... You could compare between France (public school) and Italy :)
    French: 5h
    Mathematics: 4h
    History-Geography: 3h
    English: 3h
    Spanish: 3h
    Science: 1,5h
    Technology: 1,5h
    Sport: 4h
    Music: 1h
    Arts: 1h
    Homeworks "at school": 2h
    School class life: 1h

    Those are very busy schedules for 11 years old children ...

    1. Yes. It is a very difficult schedule! I love the rigor it offers but I am secretly grateful that I did not have to endure it.

  3. I love the focus on the arts, not surprised you would get this in Italy. My daughter just started college - art school!! I can't help but wonder what it would be like if my kids were to be educated there vs. here.
    How's it going now?